When it came to choosing our countertops for our school bus conversion, we knew we wanted something that was going to be inexpensive and stand out. Unsurprisingly, our epoxy countertops have easily become our favorite feature in the bus and are always turning heads. Plus, we completely made them ourselves!
For our skoolie’s epoxy countertops, we used the Stone Coat Countertops mix that cost between $120 for a 1-gallon of Part A and B. We then purchased an epoxy friendly, alcohol-based pearl pigment from Amazon (Pinata Metallic Pearl Alcohol Ink – 4 fl. oz.). Crystal sparkles from Amazon (Mica Powder Pigment / Flake “icicles” – 50 grams) were added spontaneously throughout the countertop to add a “crystal-like” look to our design. We used a variety of silver, blue, and black Rustoleum spray paints to create the veins in our marble countertops. Here are the steps we took to create our look!
Step 1: Paint & Primer Mix
Before even getting the epoxy out, you’ll need to paint and prime the countertops twice. Make sure to sand the countertops before and after each coat of primer. The fewer imperfections you have, the smoother your epoxy countertops will look! We used a white paint and primer mix and let it dry for 24 hours between each coat.
Step 2: Prepare Accordingly…Epoxy is MESSY
We could not emphasize this enough: Make sure you properly prepare! Epoxy is messy and it sticks to EVERYTHING when it’s dry. We placed drop cloths all over our kitchen area and under the countertops to allow the epoxy to drip. Just be warned: The drop cloths did melt when our heat guns got too close. Unfortunately, we did get epoxy on our floor (mainly because it got all over our shoes. Just be sure to make sure everything you could possibly imagine is securely covered.
Side Note: Epoxy is not the best stuff to be breathing in – especially when you’re in such close corners. Open all your windows throughout the process and take a day off to let it air out. Even more of an expert tip…try finding some bug nets, screens, or curtains when you leave your windows all open. Shhhhh…while no one can tell, we may have gotten a bug or two stuck in our epoxy countertops since they’re attracted to the shiny surface…but, hey, it adds character!
Step 3: Mix Epoxy
As outlined by the instructions on the bottles, we created a 1:1 ratio mix into a plastic bucket. You’ll have to mix the Parts for 4 minutes, so pro tip: Buy an attachment for your drill so you don’t have to mix it by hand. Once it was fully mixed, we added our pigment. There is no exact amount to add. Once you have your desired result, you’re good to go!
Side Note: You could also add in your sparkles here too to give it a natural stone look. We opted out since the pigment we used had plenty of shimmer.
Step #4: Epoxy Pour
Try to evenly pour out the epoxy mixture over your countertops. Use a 1/4 inch square notch trowel to scrape the epoxy at a 45-degree angle. Keeping it at a 45-degree angle reduces the chance of you scraping too much epoxy off and spreads it out evenly.
Step #5: Giving it that Natural GLOW (Look)
Take a small to medium-sized paintbrush and smack/dab it sporadically throughout the epoxy’s surface. This helps get rid of the trowel marks and make the countertop more like natural stone. Make sure to avoid making even patterns.
Once you finish dabbing the entire slab with your paintbrush, you can start adding tiny bits of black Restroleum spray paint onto your paintbrush to further create that natural look. You’re going to do the same exact thing: Smack or your paintbrush against the slab to distribute the black spray paint. There’s really no wrong way to do this…just do whatever you think looks the best!
Step #6: Time to Give this Marble Some Veins
Making the veins was easily the most fun and intimidating part. Luckily, epoxy is forgiving and gives you plenty of space for error as long as you move quickly with the heat. We used some cardboard on the side to spray our paint on. Then, we took a paint stick, dunked it into the paint, and drew on our desired veins. Our veins are all going in the same direction to make it appear more natural. We used lots of blues and silvers towards the middle of our veins to add extra effect.
Step #7: Bring Out the Heat
Use a heat gun to manipulate veins to the direction and look that you want. There is so much flexibility with this! Epoxy has a laminar flow, meaning you can always get it to go back to its original form once you alter it. This allowed us to keep manipulating it until we got our desired results.
Once we achieved most of the veins we wanted, we used a flame torch to get rid of any air bubbles.
Quick Note: Don’t use the flame torch in one spot for too long. We made this mistake and wound up thinning out the epoxy in some areas.
Step #8: Wipe the Underneath of the Epoxy Countertops
Quickly run a finger on the underside of the countertop to get rid of the drips.
Step #9: The Top Coat
After 24 hours from the initial coat, you’re going to want to sand your countertops and get rid of any rough areas. The top coat of epoxy is going to be applied exactly the same way as the first. You’ll need to wait 72 hours before you can lightly use your countertops and 30 days for it to completely curred. Once it hits that one month mark, the countertops should be heat and cut resistant.
Quick Note: The countertops do seem a bit “tacky” when they’re in the curring process. We found that some things like dishes and cups will stick to the countertops on occasion.
For a more in-depth look, check out Stone Coat Countertops Youtube video that contains useful design and application tips!